I keep hearing about this Amazon thing. Maybe some day I will try it.

Google love

Just browsed the Google story of the hour on Slashdot-

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=179714&threshold=4&mode=thread&commentsort=0&op=Change

I am absolutely amazed, and honestly disturbed, by the rose coloured glasses the Google lovers have super-glued on their face -- How long is this honeymoon going to continue? What sort of pill have these people taken to buy into this myth so thoroughly?

It astounds me to see people continue to repeat, as if a mantra, how fundamentally "good" Google is. How much Google is bucking the trend of evil corporate America, like a light at the end of a long tunnel.

Is this the same Google that has its founders rolling in money -- shares that they and their CEO are cashing out seemingly as quickly as they can-

http://moneycentral.msn.com/investor/invsub/insider/trans.asp?view=All&Symbol=GOOG

Is this the same Google that is saturating the web in ads? Is this the same Google that started out with zero ads, added text ads ("Oh, but they're different!" the Google lovers crowed), and has now moved to colour ads on affiliate networks. Purportedly Google is testing animated ads now.

Is this the same Google that stores an infinite history of users, despite the privacy risk that presents (e.g. they wouldn't have to worry about fishing expedition subpoenas if they didn't store the info in the first place)?

Is this the same Google that is quickly leveraging its position in search to stomp on little competitors in other markets. Such as messaging, email, classified ads, video, and next calendaring?

Is this the same Google that has a $100 minimum on their AdSense network because they know that the vast majority of ad partners will never hit the $100, and thus will never have to be paid?

Is this the same Google that started a referral system where partners who referred ad publishers to Google would get an incentive bonus, and then quietly and covertly changed the condition to only apply if ther referral hit $100 within a very short period of time (incredibly unlikely)?



I like Google, and it's by far my favourite search. Furthermore they send about 200 people a day to my site, and for that I'm thankful. Nonetheless, I see them as Just Another Corporation, doing what's in the best interest of its founders/owners and workers/owners to enrich THEIR OWN pockets. I don't buy into this completely unfounded mythology of Google as some sort of new example. As an aside, I could make an "evil" list for Microsoft a mile longer -- in no way does my realistic impression of Google infer that I'm pro-Microsoft.

Disturbing.
Permalink Send private email Dennis Forbes 
March 9th, 2006 11:29am
IMPLY not INFER!
Permalink Jeez... 
March 9th, 2006 11:32am
Oh, and lest I forget: revising history to get a piece of Chinese action -- pure good, right?
Permalink Send private email Dennis Forbes 
March 9th, 2006 11:32am
The tide may be beginning to turn.

See, http://www.ectopia.us/260?1 authors and small publishers are more than incensed at the force majeure methods of Google scanning in copyright books willy nilly and their protestations that its good for the authors.  They still scan the entire book and not just a summary or extract.
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
March 9th, 2006 11:33am
I'm sure Google *means* well. Unfortunately the road to hell...
Permalink Send private email a cynic writes... 
March 9th, 2006 11:36am
If Google just scanned an extract you wouldn't be able to search the whole book, at which point Google Print becomes useless.  It won't *show* you the whole book, just enough surrounding your search terms for you to get context to see if the book is relevant, so it's not going to supplant the book in any way.  Although they may be /technically/ in breach of copyright law by holding the entire contents of the book in their database, I can't imagine that it'll be any way detrimental to publishers...

(And look at people like John Batelle -- he wants his book on Google Print, but as his pulishers are currently suing Google it's tough tits to him.  How is that a good thing?)
Permalink Send private email Mat Hall 
March 9th, 2006 11:38am
How many companies treats people as people, not as costumers?
Google is a big company like the others. They make money, no more, no less.
The difference is google break some of the IT industry paradigms.
If you go to a search engine, you go to search. That's what google does, it doesn't offer you a billions of options in its homepage. Its simple, its useful, works as expected. (err... where did i hear that before? :P)
Before gmail almost all the webmails had 50 mb at most (there were exceptions, i know), then gmail gives 1gb. Sure i will use it. They thought in the people needed the service, not if the company could afford it.
Google has made (and will) some major mistakes. But it has a good karma in the general population.
Permalink Send private email Masiosare 
March 9th, 2006 11:40am
"If Google just scanned an extract you wouldn't be able to search the whole book, at which point Google Print becomes useless."

Why do publishers owe a duty to support a money-making system for Google? If Google thinks this system is worthwhile, let them arrange contracts with the various publishers to scan their books, otherwise they can suck it.

I really find the Google mentality of "we can use information however we like" goading -- just earlier we chatted about how they explicitly deny using THEIR information for other purposes.
Permalink Send private email Dennis Forbes 
March 9th, 2006 11:41am
Masiosare,

"They thought in the people needed the service, not if the company could afford it."

No, they thought "if we introduce it like this, we'll make a KILLING". Don't confuse money-grubbing competitiveness with altruism. In an era of ultra-complex portal pages, Google saw an advantage with entering the market with an ultra slick search page, and now the founders are BILLIONAIRES because of it. Don't tell me that it's because they care about the little guy, when really it's because they want to make themselves lots of money.
Permalink Send private email Dennis Forbes 
March 9th, 2006 11:43am
As those that are against it point out, once its digitised it can be used for any purpose, Google in the future may publish it from a site that doesn't recognise the Berne Convention, that would have been the US itself before 1975, others may run robots and scrape multiple quotes from the book.

Google don't scan books for their health they do it to commercialise search and at the same time leverage their own direct purchase schemes and armtwist publishers into aggreeing for books to become scanned legitimately, whether the author has sold the rights for electronic distribution or not.
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
March 9th, 2006 11:43am
...and Google's ultra-simple no-ad page earned them the love of the geek community, a honeymoon that bizarrely continues to this day. All in all it was a strategic choice that worked brilliantly.
Permalink Send private email Dennis Forbes 
March 9th, 2006 11:43am
I was thinking this morning that it was time there was a completely free search engine again.

If someone had the wherewithal to do that just see how fast Google bombed them, in an entirely good way of course.
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
March 9th, 2006 11:45am
"If Google thinks this system is worthwhile, let them arrange contracts with the various publishers to scan their books, otherwise they can suck it."

That's what they've offered, more or less, although it's opt out rather than opt in.  If a publisher doesn't want a book (or any of their books) to be scanned, they just need to ask.  It should, in theory, be a revenue stream for publishers AND Google, so I don't see the problem.  Do you have an issue with them indexing and caching your site?  Does it deprive you of revenue?  No, it HELPS it, and I don't see Google Print being any different.

(Don't get me wrong -- Google have done some pretty bad things in recent times, but Google Print strikes me as a win-win scenario.)

And as regards simplicity, here's an interegsting comparison of Google and Yahoo's front pages over the years...  If I just want to search for something, I know which one I'd rather use:

http://weblogs.media.mit.edu/SIMPLICITY/nonflickr/05_yahoogle.html
Permalink Send private email Mat Hall 
March 9th, 2006 11:46am
As far as the stock sales go, hey, they just got a few billion dollars, it makes sense that they should want to generate some liquidity.
Permalink Spiro 
March 9th, 2006 11:47am
Google insiders sold $4.3 billion worth of shares last year. In the same period Microsoft insiders sold $2.2 billion worth of shares (and Microsoft has 10x the revenue/profit of Google).
Permalink Send private email Dennis Forbes 
March 9th, 2006 11:52am
Google insiders just got rich, microsoft insiders have been rich for a decade.  Google has a PE of 90, Microsoft 25.
Permalink Spiro 
March 9th, 2006 11:54am
"Do you have an issue with them indexing and caching your site?  Does it deprive you of revenue?  No, it HELPS it, and I don't see Google Print being any different."

No doubt for some publishers it could be beneficial. Nonetheless people don't like when you take liberties with their property, in this case intellectual property, unless you explicitly opt out. In fact that's pretty shady.

I have a symbiotic relationship with Google, however honestly I've always felt that search engines, or any automated scanners/content stealers should presume an opt out by default, unless explicitly allowed by robots.txt (which I set to allow). It always seemed kind of shady that they follow a "we're going to do what we want with your content unless you follow a specific method of telling us not to"
Permalink Send private email Dennis Forbes 
March 9th, 2006 11:55am
That was precisely the argument that the man from Google Europe used this morning, that it was exactly the same thing as indexing web pages.

That is a lie.

In order for them to index it they had to scan it and OCR it, convert it into another form and they selectively publish sections of it.  This is illegal.

The 'opt out' contract is illegal, it attempts to force publishers to allow Google to legitimately scan copies of books on the basis that Google or its agents will sell them and gain commission or margin.  Opt out contracts are illegal, you cannot force people into contracts by threatening to devalue their product if they don't allow you to distribute it.

The Google Print contract subverts the contract between author and publisher by excluding the author from that contract and by allowing them to exercise their control over their own material.

Google Print is evil, it is evil because it masquerades as a good thing.
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
March 9th, 2006 11:55am
Those Google insiders already were rich, unless they believed that their share price is unsustainable and want to liquidate to get into something better.

The CEO of Google has been dumping stock at a ferocious clip, for instance. Makes you wonder how he really feels about the organization.
Permalink Send private email Dennis Forbes 
March 9th, 2006 11:56am
Maybe he feels that he's made enough money?
Permalink Send private email muppet 
March 9th, 2006 11:57am
He did the same at Novell Inc.
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
March 9th, 2006 11:59am
http://www.siliconbeat.com/entries/2005/09/09/my_jets_pretty_big_how_big_is_yours.html

You have to be an Earth loving green to fly around in a -personal- 767. These guys outta get the sainthood!
Permalink Send private email Dennis Forbes 
March 9th, 2006 12:04pm
Mind Jets are relatively cheap these days.
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
March 9th, 2006 12:07pm
Maybe they believed having 99.99999% of their weath in a single company showed imprudent risk management?
Permalink Spiro 
March 9th, 2006 12:09pm
Sorry, im a little busy

"No, they thought "if we introduce it like this, we'll make a KILLING". Don't confuse money-grubbing competitiveness with altruism."


Of course is not altruism, as i said is for pure profit. But again, they are thinking as costumers.
If you are selling a search engine, your product is the searches. AS a costumer i appreciate to be treated with respect. They show ads in the search result but i dont have to click 20 times to close the ads before i can start working  with your product.
That's how you atract costumers.
Here in my country there is a pretty good example. Some years ago, there was no way a poor people has a bank account. Why? because banks didn't focus on em because they have very little money. Even if there are much much more millions of poor people, it was not worth the effort. They even look funny when poor people go to a bank.
Then a new bank came. Poor people were treated respectfully, they could open an account with about 2 dollars. Guess who is profitting more now?
That is all about. Taking care of a niche which is not covered or is bad covered. See what your competitors are doing wrong and do it well.
Permalink Send private email Masiosare 
March 9th, 2006 12:14pm
Simon,

I'm thinking more in terms of the pure excess and indulgence of jetting around in 200,000lb jet for personal travel.

Spiro,

"Maybe they believed having 99.99999% of their weath in a single company showed imprudent risk management?"

Yeah, that's the standard line used as cover when founders start bailing (Bill Gates did significant bailing when, as we know now, MS stock was peaking, and that line was trotted out as well, but in his case he actually put substantial funds towards his charity), and if they were building savings to ensure that they have enough for the retirement home, then sure. However these folks all already have many millions, in cases hundreds of millions, in outside investments. They have zero risk to their lifestyle even if Google shares dropped to $0.01.

The "diversify" line for someone as connected and vested as the founders is as rational as saying that someone should give up children and father children with other mothers to diversify their genetics. Superficially there is a small amount of logic to it, but it doesn't pass the smell test.
Permalink Send private email Dennis Forbes 
March 9th, 2006 12:19pm
Mat,

"And as regards simplicity, here's an interegsting comparison of Google and Yahoo's front pages over the years...  If I just want to search for something, I know which one I'd rather use:"

Perhaps because search just wasn't as good, search often wasn't the primary focus...which was why the portal wars happened (and why Yahoo still favours a portal page -- clearly their customers must appreciate something about it).

And of course Google is starting their own portal page as well-

http://www.google.com/ig
Permalink Send private email Dennis Forbes 
March 9th, 2006 12:26pm
I know you meant the sheer indulgence of it, my sarcasm wasn't showing.

It would be fairly difficult for the founders to divest themselves of so much stock that they'd actually distribute their risk.  If they tried that the price would sink so fast the SEC would nail them and anyway their remaining holdings would be disproportionately devalued.

It is the attitude that is wrong, that all information belongs to them to do with as they wish.  I've noticed that Wikipedia, ie Jimbo,  has distanced itself slightly from Google recently.
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
March 9th, 2006 12:27pm
If they have zero change to their lifestyles when the stock goes to 0.01 it holds that the stock going to  $9999999 also changes nothing for them.  So they should not sell because dennis forbes thinks it's good? 

Having 2 billion in cash and 8 billion in stock is better than 11 billion in stock. the company could go to zero.
Permalink Spiro 
March 9th, 2006 12:27pm
Spiro,

"So they should not sell because dennis forbes thinks it's good? "

You seem to be confused about what I'm saying: If I was a partner in Google, I'd be unloading GOOG as fast as the markets would bare, knowing that growth is going to be much more difficult, and if that ship sinks I'd want to be able to sail off somewhere else retaining the power (another point you misunderstood. By lifestyle I'm referring to having a huge house, lots of cars, maids and chauffeurs, nannies, and ass wipers. What that extreme cash buys them, however, is something greater -- Power. They want to ensure that they're multi-billionaires because the power that entails). What I wouldn't be doing, however, is prancing around talking about Do No Evil, and continuing to perpetrate the line that the corporation is some sort of selfless entity doing good to the world. That's what bugs me.
Permalink Send private email Dennis Forbes 
March 9th, 2006 12:33pm
With you entirely in that regard.
Permalink Spiro 
March 9th, 2006 12:37pm
"In order for them to index it they had to scan it and OCR it, convert it into another form and they selectively publish sections of it.  This is illegal."

Ok, so it's illegal for them to scan & parse webpages and stuff it into their database format (converting it into another form) but the same is not true of webpages?!?  Both are copyrighted material.  Why is it that when it's in book form, it's suddenly more protected?  Googles web scanning is also 'opt out' but nobody bitches about that either. 

I don't get it, what's the difference?!?
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 9th, 2006 12:48pm
Plenty of people have bitched about Google indexing their web content, and more have bitched about the caching functionality of Google.

Nonetheless the web world grew as sort of a free-for-all, and the "index unless you say otherwise" mantra was there from the beginning. The book world has no such liberal use policy, and in fact has specifically barred alternative uses (e.g. the big warning sign near the photocopier at school/the library). Google is trying to use the free-for-all example for books, but that book industry existed for hundreds of years before Google appeared.
Permalink Send private email Dennis Forbes 
March 9th, 2006 12:58pm
"Google is trying to use the free-for-all example for books, but that book industry existed for hundreds of years before Google appeared."

Clearly the reason why search indexing is acceptable on the web is because it provides a useful and an almost necessary service.  The fact that books have been around longer doesn't really mean anything -- legally the copyright is the same.

I honestly suspect that once Google print launches and nothing bad happens to publishers or authors that the complaints about it will quickly vanish.
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 9th, 2006 1:04pm
"Clearly the reason why search indexing is acceptable on the web is because it provides a useful and an almost necessary service."

Of course it's sybmiotic for those who decide to partake (though a lot of sites do disallow robots, or disallow caching). Let me reiterate that I believe 100%, with completely conviction, that the only reason the system operates the way it does (where anyone can basically steal your content unless you say otherwise) is because it started out that way, so you're a bit of a poor sport to demand otherwise now. Nonetheless, there have been a lot of bizarrely surprized web operators who find that all of their content is sitting cached on Google and other sites.

"The fact that books have been around longer doesn't really mean anything -- legally the copyright is the same."

The fact that books have been around longer means EVERYTHING. The rules for the use of books are very firmly in place, and they don't include "scanning entire volumes into other forms for your profit, putting it all on a potentially vulnerable shared database, to be used as you see fit". There is significant precedent for the fair use of books on the records, where there was a lack of precedent for the fair use of web pages.

"I honestly suspect that once Google print launches and nothing bad happens to publishers or authors that the complaints about it will quickly vanish."

I think the book authors just get pissed at Google's entitlement about the whole thing -- just because web publishers let Google parasite some value off of their content doesn't mean that book publishers will do the some.

Perhaps Google's service will be great, and perhaps it will make the book publishers lots of money, but maybe it's up to the publishers to state their interest or not (without someone presuming their interest) -- maybe Microsoft wants to make a competing service and is ready to offer much more of the pie to the publisher, for instance.
Permalink Send private email Dennis Forbes 
March 9th, 2006 1:12pm
Plus, if its ok for Google to scan books why is it wrong for anyone else?
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
March 9th, 2006 1:19pm
"Plus, if its ok for Google to scan books why is it wrong for anyone else?"

Why would it be wrong for anyone else?  If I buy a fuckton of books, scan them into a database, and then put up an interface on my website allowing people to search on text and receive a comprehensive list of titles that contain that snippet, what's the problem?
Permalink Send private email muppet 
March 9th, 2006 1:22pm
Dennis,

There is nothing wrong with the owners selling their shares unless you assume that there is.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 1:28pm
"but maybe it's up to the publishers to state their interest or not (without someone presuming their interest)"

What ever happened to fair use?  I see google's service as perfect example of fair use -- using the material in a way that does not decrease it's value.  Copyright is not meant to be this hard lock that prevents anyone of doing anything of value with it -- it's sole purpose is to ensure proper compensation for writers and publishers. 

"the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright."

One could argue that Google print covers many of these aspects -- specifically scholarship and research.

"In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—
1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."

Obviously there is some profit it for Google although it's not directly related to copyrighted work itself.  Google is also not selling access to it's index -- use of the service is free for all.  Google intends to show only exerpts -- so that covers #3 (and yes, they are scanning the entire book but that's only an implementation detail).  And, of course, #4..  it's extremely unlikely that Google indexing books will cause a decrease in the potential market or value of the copyrighted works.

"Plus, if its ok for Google to scan books why is it wrong for anyone else?"

It's not assume I'm covered by fair use.
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 9th, 2006 1:39pm
(and yes, they are scanning the entire book but that's only an implementation detail)

That's a stretch, isn't it?

And with its commericial nature I think they'd have a hard time to fight in court.

I think they are just testing the water. Movies and songs are their main targets.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 1:51pm
muppet, the problem is that its illegal.
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
March 9th, 2006 1:52pm
"That's a stretch, isn't it?"

Nope, in Sony Corp. v. Universal City Studios copying entire programs for private viewing was upheld as fair use.  The quantity doesn't really matter, it's the charaterization of the use.

The problem is, if Google were to negotiate (or whatever) with every single publisher then the project would never work.  It's either this or they don't do it all.
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 9th, 2006 1:54pm
Demonstrate why it's illegal, Simon.  How does it fall outside of Fair Use?
Permalink Send private email muppet 
March 9th, 2006 1:54pm
Fair use does not include possessing the entire work and choosing to publish any section of it and as it will be shown on a page with advertising it is making commercial use of that text without the author's explicit permission.

Fair use, as it happens, is an American concept and doesn't exist outside of the US (so far as I remember).
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
March 9th, 2006 1:55pm
Well I just have.  But fundamentally, even in the US Fair Use does not include the commercial exploitation of another's work without permission.

Google is ripping off the author.
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
March 9th, 2006 1:56pm
"commercial exploitation"

That's a stretch, isn't it?
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 1:57pm
"The United States and the Philippines are the only countries with a fair use doctrine. However, comparable copyright limitations can be found in many nations' copyright statutes, though these differ in scope. Most other common law countries have a related doctrine known as fair dealing, which is defined in a constrained manner through an enumerated list of causes for exemption that allows little room for judicial interpretation."
-- wikipedia

The concept behind fair use began in the U.K.
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 9th, 2006 1:57pm
They're not publishing the work.  They're displaying a miniscule block of text that provides the context of the search.  Is it copyright infringement to publish two sentences from a book?  Why aren't screenshots of video games illegal, then? 

Google is providing a service which the Library of Congress ought already to have done.  They're filling a need and it'll be a change for the better if implemented properly.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
March 9th, 2006 1:58pm
I'd hardly call that commercial exploitation.  If you disagree the Google's use, than you will also have to disagree with newspapers and magazines that include exerpts of books -- since they also make money with subscriptions and  ads without any compensation to the author.
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 9th, 2006 1:59pm
It is a very limited set of uses, making a copy of the entire work isn't one of those uses.

And no, placing advertising on the same page as someone else's work is commercial exploitation.  What do you think Google's business model is?  To be nice to people?  To give something away for free (that doesn't belong to them)?  No, its to monetise every single page.

If there is anything which convinces me that Google has passed on its original precept of 'do not Evil' this is it.
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
March 9th, 2006 2:01pm
Wow Simon, good job ignoring everything I said that refutes all your points!
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 9th, 2006 2:03pm
Simon's got his blinders on, his fingers in his ears, and is yelling at the top of his lungs.  No use in talking to him.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
March 9th, 2006 2:04pm
How many newspapers can produce selected pieces of text from any book based upon who is looking at it and what they're looking for?

Newspapers cannot quote without permission and you'll find that they don't.  Copy that quotes from books will generally be reviews and even then are unlikely to quote because quotes take up too much space in a newspaper.

It is this laissez faire attitude to copyright which will undermine creators of original work.
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
March 9th, 2006 2:04pm
I think the OCR step crosses the line from fair use to copyright infringement.

Eventually it's up to the courts.

Of course fair use came from Britain. Otherwise how can we exploit shakespeare?
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 2:05pm
"It is this laissez faire attitude to copyright which will undermine creators of original work."

It's not a laissez faire attitude towards copyright, Simon, it's movement and progress.  What's criminal, in spirit, with making an author's works more accessible to a larger population?  Google isn't providing the book entire, they're helping people (by the thousands, or millions) to FIND the book.  What better PR could an author hope for than that?  If Googles makes some money with ads on their print search engine, the author is making plenty in book sales, too.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
March 9th, 2006 2:07pm
If I'm so wrong why are the Author's Guild suing?

It isn't I that has the blinkers on.
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
March 9th, 2006 2:08pm
Where is the author making plenty in book sales?
Where is the agreement between the author and the advertiser?
Who gains the most?  Google that wins from the long tail, or the author who may get a few hundred hits and may sell one or two copies?
Who is gaining?

This isn't progress, its a corporation saying that the law doesn't apply to them.
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
March 9th, 2006 2:09pm
"If I'm so wrong why are the Author's Guild suing? "

Because that's what you do in America.  Are you going to argue with THAT assertion, too?
Permalink Send private email muppet 
March 9th, 2006 2:10pm
Of course they'll sue since they figure they have chance to win.

The question is whether it is in their financial interests to do so. What google does does not hurt them in this case, but I guess they fear it'll set a bad precedent.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 2:11pm
"How many newspapers can produce selected pieces of text from any book based upon who is looking at it and what they're looking for?"

Is that important?  Welcome to progress.  Yes, we no longer have to walk the isles of some dusty old bookstore (dusty old bookstores don't even exist anymore).

"Copy that quotes from books will generally be reviews"

Sure.  I read Salon.  They have book reviews.  They quote from books.  They have subscriptions and ads.  How is that any different?

"It is this laissez faire attitude to copyright which will undermine creators of original work."

Your iron-clad attitude towards copyright will deminish society has a whole.  The constant emphasis on Intellectal Property (which RMS will constantly remind you is a made up concept) will monetise more and more ideas.  Does everything have to bought?  Do we really have to hinder progress for the almightly dollar?  This is captialism run amuck.
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 9th, 2006 2:12pm
"Where is the author making plenty in book sales?"

Why are people searching for books?  To jot down the titles and store the list in a shoebox under their bed?

"Where is the agreement between the author and the advertiser?"

What agreement is needed to catalogue works without providing the works themselves?  Libraries across the country had better snap to.

"Who gains the most?  Google that wins from the long tail, or the author who may get a few hundred hits and may sell one or two copies?"

Google is undertaking the task to build a huge index to a great many works.  Obviously their ads are going to display for everyone's book, not just yours, so they stand to gain more, in theory.  The author's gain, however, cannot be discounted.  Do you honestly believe that from a few hundred highly targetted hits, you'll garner only one or two sales.  If so you're a poor author who'd have done poorly anyway.

"Who is gaining?"


"This isn't progress, its a corporation saying that the law doesn't apply to them."

This is a corporation interpretting the laws differently than you, and it's put a bug in your knickers.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
March 9th, 2006 2:13pm
"This isn't progress, its a corporation saying that the law doesn't apply to them."

Talk about a misconception!  Google believes the law is on their side, not that it doesn't apply to them.  They claim fair use, the publishers say not.  It will be up the courts to decide.

I don't know if they will win... most judges, I believe, think like you Simon; money is all that matters.
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 9th, 2006 2:15pm
What is the difference between what google do and what Amazon do?
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 2:15pm
Something reboot the Tsang-bot.

In any case, apart from the "Google is doing good" line (you know, apart from "Google sees an opening to grow revenue"), the argument seems to be "authors will prosper too" -- if that's the case, then surely they'll FLOCK to Google Print to get their books included in the archive. Right? Sort of how artists flock to release their music for free after all of the Slashbots proclaimed that "artists will prosper because it'll boost their concert sales!".

If authors prosper or not does justify Google choosing to do whatever it wants with other people's properties. Personal fair use has NOTHING to do with making a searchable archive of other people's IP for commercial gain.
Permalink Send private email Dennis Forbes 
March 9th, 2006 2:16pm
Well the most intellectually bankrupt thing that RMS ever says is that IP doesn't exist, or is a made up concept.  I'd be hard pushed to think of any concept that wasn't made up and RMS waving his hands in the air and saying that IP doesn't exist is somewhat akin to Canute and the tides, but at least Canute knew the tide would never retreat.

That aside.  There are good reasons for copyright on printed works, there are bad reasons for the extensions to copyright which confuse it with trademark law, a la Disney.  But the essential copyright of 70 years post the author's death is a good one for authors and their estates.

The point is not that only a few words are published at any one time but that Google has the entire work from which to select those words and are not limited in how they select them.  Copying a work for commercial reasons without permission is theft.
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
March 9th, 2006 2:19pm
The joke is getting tiresome.

(Of course a egoistic bot would say that.)
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 2:20pm
The main principle of fair use is whether it diminishes the value of the work.  If you can prove to me that Google's index will do that, then I'll agree with you.

The problem with the publishers and authors is that they are greedy.  They want to monitize the whole process.  They want a cut.  They like the advantage the index gives them and they want a piece of googles ad revenue.  But that's patently stupid because if they take a cut of the service, it simply won't exist.  It's too much of an administrative headache.  So because of their greed, the service may never get off the ground, and they'll ultimately loose out.
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 9th, 2006 2:23pm
"What is the difference between what google do and what Amazon do?"

Amazon has relationships with publishers, and presumably operates within the bounds of those relationships. Google exists at a whole different plane, seemingly doing whatever they want to whatever information they want, for their own commercial gain.
Permalink Send private email Dennis Forbes 
March 9th, 2006 2:24pm
"Copying a work for commercial reasons without permission is theft."

Then all book reviews, in commercial magazines, with citations, are theft.
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 9th, 2006 2:25pm
They don't do the OCR of the whole work.

Individual readers could do it for personal use. But google can't because they do it for commercial purpose.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 2:29pm
Of course you'll call them greedy.

They will call you greedy too.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 2:30pm
"that Google has the entire work from which to select those words and are not limited in how they select them."

Ok.  So lets say Google doesn't OCR the whole book, they just OCR a small exept of it to display on the web, is that ok?

Lets say though that it's not really good enough, people search for lots of terms so instead of 1 excerpts they actually scan 10 in -- just to give it a range.  Is that ok?

Now 10 is still a pretty small number and doesn't cover a lot of searches so the decide instead to scan in 100 excerpts.  Is that ok?

How many excerpts does it have to be before there's a problem?
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 9th, 2006 2:33pm
AHA> But that's patently stupid because if they take a cut of the service, it simply won't exist.  It's too much of an administrative headache.

So the only reason Google Print is in the right is because one number (setting up, maintaining the accounting system) is bigger than another (the ad revenue)?

Are Google Print's margins going to be than thin? If it's making just 10% off of the ads, is it true that it would cost 10% to administer an accounting system?
Permalink bring out da punk 
March 9th, 2006 3:30pm
Perhaps all the publishers and writers want is opt-in, not opt-out.

I'd say that's a fair request.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 3:34pm
Would regular Google exist if it had to contact every single web publisher for permission and setup an account for them? 

No.

It's not that hard to understand.
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 9th, 2006 3:34pm
Well, A9 works. No one complains.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 3:35pm
Convenience trumps rights.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 3:36pm
"Well, A9 works. No one complains."

A9 indexes a *very* tiny number of books.  Google, on the otherhand, is trying to do something bigger and more useful.

"Convenience trumps rights."

You're begging the question -- the point is, google has the rights (under fair use) and the publisher doesn't have the right to stop them.  At least, that's google's opinion (and mine as well).  It'll be up to the courts to settle it.

It has nothing to do with convenience.
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 9th, 2006 3:38pm
The problem occurs as soon as its commercialised and permission hasn't been sought.  The case of reviews is entirely different as you well know, it is even covered as Fair Use in those restricted area where Fair Use is accepted.

What matters is not how little or how much (though copying the whole book is certainly illegal), is published but the intent in publishing and given that it can be any snippet from any book and that each snippet is accompanied by advertising its not an unreasonable assumption to make that the purpose is to gain directly from the use of that content.

Fair Use does not include the commercial use of copyrighted material.
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
March 9th, 2006 3:38pm
"Would regular Google exist if it had to contact every single web publisher for permission and setup an account for them? "

Most web listing, categories, and even search engines were opt-in (though they didn't usually validate that you were an authorized agent, generally web operators listed their own stuff). Yahoo didn't go out and ask every website if they could list them in the categories --- web authors went to Yahoo to ask to be listed, because their was a benefit to them.
Permalink Send private email Dennis Forbes 
March 9th, 2006 3:38pm
"Most web listing, categories, and even search engines were opt-in"

Bullshit.  Yahoo didn't start with zero listings.  It was only after it had a bunch of listings that it became popular enough for people to submit their own sites.  Search engines, same deal.
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 9th, 2006 3:41pm
How can it be legal (publishing a snippet as Fair Use), to profit from a crime (the copying of the entire work)?

The defence in the case of web sites relies on custom and that web sites use hyperlinks in order to become parts of larger works with multiple authors.  The Web.  Entirely private and self contained sites that have no external links could (and have) be argued as to not participating in the Web and so still protected under copyright.
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
March 9th, 2006 3:42pm
For google it is about money.

For you I think it is about convenience and you are justifying you have the right.

It is also about short term gain.

You know how long it takes for Amazon to be in the blue?
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 3:44pm
"profit from a crime (the copying of the entire work)?"

You assume that copying the entire work is a crime, but you can (as I've *already* shown above) copy an entire work under fair use.  Seriously Simon, I'm getting really tired of repeating myself over and over for you.  Next time, please read the topic before you reply -- the conversation might actually progress if you did.
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 9th, 2006 3:45pm
For google, though, the search result include quotes and I agree with AHA that google wouldn't fly if it's opt in.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 3:47pm
You demonstrate that you, me and small guys could copy for personal use.

Try to sell your copy.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 3:48pm
"What matters is not how little or how much (though copying the whole book is certainly illegal), is published but the intent in publishing and given that it can be any snippet from any book and that each snippet is accompanied by advertising its not an unreasonable assumption to make that the purpose is to gain directly from the use of that content."

The snippet is not being used as content.  It's being used as a contextual reference for an informational query.  If the intent were to provide the user with reading material wholesale right within Google Print, then you might have a point.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
March 9th, 2006 3:48pm
Open a book covered by the Berne Convention.

Read what it says under the copyright notice.

"All rights reserved.  No part of this book may be copied or transmitted in any form or by any means,electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system except by express written permission by the publisher, except for the inclusion brief quotations in a review."

It will say that or something similar and as I said copying for commercial reasons is never Fair Use.
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
March 9th, 2006 3:50pm
It's being used to make money.

What is the purpose of Google now that it is a public corporation?

To get the best return on its capital for its investors.

How does Google get its revenue?

Advertising.

Is there advertising associated with each snippet?

Yes.
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
March 9th, 2006 3:53pm
That's like an EULA in that it's not enforcable.  I could legally quote portions of any book to use my PHD thesis, for example.  Just because it says "except for the inclusion brief quotations in a review" doesn't mean I can't use quotations for things.

Copying an entire book for the purpose of making brief quotations would be, in my opinion (and googles), fair use.  That's the point.
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 9th, 2006 3:56pm
"Is there advertising associated with each snippet?"

You've constantly been igorning my book review example.  I just finished reading a 2 page book review in which nearly every paragraph had a quote or two.  So is this magazine (with it's ads) breaking the law?
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 9th, 2006 3:57pm
I'll try to do a recap.

Publishers and authors have copyrights.

We have fair use.

Question:
1) Does fair use include commericial attivities?
1a) if it includes, does it includes copying the whole work or just snippets?

Sony vs Betamax are out because it's the individual customer who do the copy for personal use.

Two other counter examples
A) Newspaper reviews.
B) Google web searches and Yahoo!

For reviews, I think either the reviewers buy the works and the writers/publishers lend or give them. So there are no wholesome copy.

I think B are Google's strongest defense since web-sites owner only intend for their works to be read by surfers.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 4:06pm
"Sony vs Betamax are out because it's the individual customer who do the copy for personal use."

The copy is allowed because personal use is fair use.  You cannot simply discount this.  Basically it says that there are conditions for which a complete copy is covered under fair use.  Google would have to show that making it's complete copy is covered by fair use.  Conversely, this also means that making a complete copy does not automatically invalidate the fair use argument.

"For reviews, I think either the reviewers buy the works and the writers/publishers lend or give them. So there are no wholesome copy."

Google gets it's books from Libraries, which have purchase the books for the purpose of lending them out to others.  So there is an original purchased copy.

The way I see it, I've shown that:

a) Fair use *can* cover copying an entire material.
b) Companies can make money indirectly (through advertising) publishing excerpts/quotes from copyrighted material (the magazine example).

The question is -- does making a copy of an entire work for the purpose of generating excerpts on the fly constitute fair use.  I would think it does under the terms of fair use -- which mostly boil down to no dimishing the value of the work.
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 9th, 2006 4:16pm
1. Fair use cover copying of the entire material provided it's not for commerical use.

The problem is copyrights exist to serve different purpose in different jurisdiction.

I don't think copying the entire material for commerical use would fly in Europe.

You might have a chance in the states.

I'll be pissed if I am a author when my work is copied entirely for a third party to profit from it.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 4:33pm
if I am professional writer...
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 4:35pm
Except that really google is only profiting from the excerpts -- not the entire material.  Profiting from the excerpts of materials has a long history dating back to before computers.
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 9th, 2006 4:39pm
You all realise that "Fair Use"  doesn't exist in all jurisdictions? 

You do? Oh, Good.
Permalink Send private email a cynic writes... 
March 9th, 2006 4:41pm
So it's about convenience after all.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 4:43pm
Anyway, google is arrogant beyond belief.

Jeff Bezos is a jerk but at least he has the courtesy to respect authors and publishers.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 4:47pm
They either be arrogant or they don't do it.
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 9th, 2006 4:53pm
AHA,

Canada has signed the Berne Convention.

And as usual, USA has not.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 5:01pm
As is usual the US doesn't sign conventions starting with B?

Or as is usual the US doesn't sign conventions thatt conflict with domestic law?

Or the US doesn't sign conventions usually?

Tsang? There is no hate but I don't want my kids to end up trolling like you.
Permalink Spiro 
March 9th, 2006 6:01pm
That's not trolling.

USA is just a country. Why would anyone be trolled when I am just stating my opinions about it?

I can be wrong. If I am, point it out.

Turns out, I was wrong about USA not signing it :)
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 6:04pm
AHA,

The ends sometimes do not justify the means.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 6:05pm
And sometimes they do.  In fact, in this case the means are pretty easy to justify -- nobody is harmed and everyone (you, me, google, the publishers, the authors) win.
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 9th, 2006 7:16pm
You are way too consequentialist for me :)

The authors lost control: others could copy their entire piece of work which would be used to facilitate commerical gains.

Before others could only copy snippets of their work for commerical gains.

As you said, without the ability to OCR without explicit consent the whole concept wouldn't fly. Therefore the act of copying is critical to this commericial activity.

This would backfire. It would hurt Google and make Amazon stronger. I assure that everyone would opt-out.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 7:44pm
>>> nobody is harmed and everyone (you, me, google, the publishers, the authors) win.

The authors are harmed: Google is using their works without permission and making money off them.  It's not fair use to take the whole thing and use it. 

A book or movie review doesn't republish the whole book or movie and could be done w/out republishing any of the work being reviewed, whereas Google print requires that they scan the entire work.
Permalink Send private email Ward 
March 9th, 2006 8:07pm
And the opt-out thing is fundamentally wrong.

AHA: don't you remember a few years ago when Rogers tried to an opt-out deal on cable services?  Their idea was to add a bunch of new channels and increase the cost and anyone who didn't want the new stuff could call and have their service reduced back to what it had been.  It was a big mistake, everyone hated it.
Permalink Send private email Ward 
March 9th, 2006 8:09pm
Actually, the whole google model would collapse if the court determines that the service has to be opt-in.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 9th, 2006 8:44pm
Why?    I'd opt-in.
Permalink Google Would Survive 
March 9th, 2006 10:55pm
The vast magority of the internet wouldn't bother.  It's not that they wouldn't want to be in the google index, it's because they don't know how or it's too much trouble or they forget or...
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 10th, 2006 2:21am
How is Google acting for its personal use?  That's the only case when you could make a complete copy under Fair Use in the USA and if it were a work published pretty much anywhere else then such Fair Use doesn't exist.

There are three separate strands being conflated here. 

1. The Library project which is about scanning books out of copyright and providing all of the pages. 

2. The scanning of books in copyright for the purpose of satisfying queries without the permission of the publisher or author.

3. The selling of books in copyright based on queries made with the permission of the publisher.

No one disagrees with 1.

No one disagrees with 3, well that isn't quite true.

Publishers are saying they're been forced into agreeing to allow Google and its agents to sell their books because of the actions taken in 2.  It is only 2, which can be directly opposed and which is under any of the Laws of Copyright, illegal.  Fair Use simply doesn't come into it because the purposes are commercial and not personal.  Corporations cannot have personal uses, only commercial ones.

As for the use for review I have covered that.  Google does not review books.  The purpose is important when considering Fair Use and the purpose is not to review them.
Permalink Send private email Simon Lucy 
March 10th, 2006 4:09am
This discussion is still going..  wow...

"How is Google acting for its personal use?"

It's not.  You completely misunderstood the argument.  You stated that making a complete copy would not fall under the terms of fair use -- but that's not right.  The personal use case is an example showing that you can make a complete copy of a work assuming that it's covered under the terms of fair use.  A personal use is covered.  Is googles purposes covered, I don't know.  But the fact that it's a complete copy does not immediately mean it's not fair use.

"Publishers are saying they're been forced into agreeing to allow Google and its agents to sell their books because of the actions taken in 2."

WHAT?!?  Clearly publishers don't have to allow google to sell their books.  As far as I know, google won't be selling books at all -- simply pointing to places where publishers already sell there wares.

"As for the use for review I have covered that.  Google does not review books."

*slaps head against forehead*  Yes, google doesn't review books.  Google indexes books.  Those things are different but not *that* different.

"The purpose is important when considering Fair Use and the purpose is not to review them."

Why should indexing and returning search results be so much different from reviewing a book (in terms of fair use)?
Permalink Send private email Almost H. Anonymous 
March 10th, 2006 5:01pm

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other topics: March, 2006 Other topics: March, 2006 Recent topics Recent topics